Oct 8, 2009

Update on US


They're doing even better now! MayMay loves to play and be away from mom a lot, but she comes back for hugs sometimes. Bellarina is learning that "no means no", and is learning about not taking toys from others. She's learning about sharing, too. THey're both doing great, loving each other and everyone else in the family, the kids love playing and get really crazy!!! And love each OTHER and it's obvious and so cool and amazing. They clean up their room and the toys they scatter across the living room really quickly with four of them to motivate each other. We're getting into a routine for EVERYTHING... the car, meals, the whole day, actually.

Right now i'm doing kindergarten/preschool type stuff with Jaws, Bella and May and they're doing great. Bella I think gets bored, but I can't do much more for her right now until she acquires enough English... which she is doing, fast! We do counting games and letter games and they're tracing letters and numbers and watching "Letter Factory" to learn the short sounds. They're learning so fast! I'd say MayMay and Jaws are at about the same level. It isn't much of a surprise; Jaws is advanced for her age because she's been around Loli and Loli's schooling. And May was in an orphanage for 9 months... they say you can count on any amount of time spent in an orphanage to cause some delays. So she's working at about the same level as Ruth, but they're both learning letters, learning counting, and learning to write.

Loli is my wonder kid, when it comes to schooling. Every morning she does two math pages by herself, and then she does two pages of handwriting practice by herself, and then she writes out her spelling words, by herself, then she takes her chapter book, goes in Mom's quiet room, reads a chapter. Then she writes a short paragraph-essay on the chapter she read, which I correct for spelling and find spelling words from for the next week.

Then the real fun begins. She has chosen an animal to learn about each week. This week it's horses. So she gets one of the horse books we checked out of the library, reads it, and then writes down information for her "Key words" in her science journal (right now those are predators, prey, habitat, adaptive trait, Moms & Babies.) When she's gone through all the week's books, she writes a paragraph about the animal, how it is a (in this case, Mammal) and includes all of the things she learned about her key words.

For geography/history, we listen to Story of the World by susan wise bauer. This year we're doing ancient times, and while we listen we put together wooden geography puzzles. Right now we're focusing on the World puzzle, with the continents, oceans as the puzzle pieces. Loli has almost gotten to the point where she can put it together without help. It's been really fun. A lot less stress than I ever thought possible... my kid is a bright little thing, and I'm not bragging, it's just the truth.

Later in the year I'm planning on focusing on plants (springtime is a good time for that, don't you think?) And next year we'll be doing more of a physical science focus, to balance out the knowledge. This year we're pretty biologically focused. But I look forward to talking to Loli about weather patterns and physical geography, scientific experiments, measuring mass, volume, temperature and length, and doing loooots of science projects to learn about the physical world around us.

So that's us right now! Fall, bring it on! Cold weather, you don't scare us; we've got a closet full of pink and purple coats and mittens and scarves and hats and we are all looking forward to introducing our cute African daughters to snow for the first time!!!!


David L said...

That reminds me, we have some of Katherine's "too small" stuff to give to you guys. A pair of shoes, a pair of boots, probably a couple shirts and dresses....

It's great that Katherine is old enough (and tall enough) that we can send most of her stuff to you guys. If it weren't that, it'd all just go to the DI, and I'd rather it went your way.

Janell said...

I love reading about your approaches to homeschooling :)

A girl called dallan said...

It sounds wonderful!

cori said...

You. are. amazing. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your beautiful family. <3


Anonymous said...

You're truly an inspiration to mothers everywhere. It could be because of where I live, but I don't know of any women who homeschool their children AND who have adopted children from another country.

Love the pictures...and the comment about the pink and purple mittens.

Nathan and Rebecca Scott said...

Glad things are going well. I love hearing about your home-schooling and I admire all that you put into it.

Amyjo said...

love "Story of the World" by Bauer. She is a talented writer.
Oh, how I wish my oldest would get the writing bug...she hates it.
Any suggestions?

NoSurfGirl said...


Not sure. All I have right now is Emma, and she's always been very "write-y". One thing I do make sure to do is give her a very clear outline for her essays... right now I ask her to include something she liked in the chapter and something she didn't like, as well as making sure she has a clear topic sentence (this essay is about... or, today I read... and this is what I think.) I don't know if you've noticed this with your kids or not, but I find that Loli really needs a lot of concrete guidance right now to feel secure in her assignments. I'm trying to get her to loosen up... lately I've been asking her to write an additional sentence at the end about "anything she thought or any person she liked or didn't like in the chapter." And she's been sort of edging toward putting her own thoughts down on paper.

I don't make her write more than a few sentences at this point, either.

Anyway, I'm betting some of my other kids won't take to writing as much. We'll see.

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